A Beginner’s Guide to Layer Cakes

Layer cakes are a great dessert choice for special occasions and family gatherings. They are easy to make and will impress your guests with their rich, buttery flavors and decorative frosting.


The secret to a delicious layer cake is in the ingredients. The most important ingredients are butter (unsalted), sugar, and eggs.

How to Make a Layer Cake

Whether it’s an intricately decorated, tiered confection or simply a simple old-fashioned vanilla layer cake, making a layer cake is easier than you might think. This guide will walk you through a few tips that will help you get the results you want.

The first step is to make sure that your cake layers are level. This can be done by carefully transferring each cake round from one pan to the other and checking that the top is flat and the edges are clean. If there are any dents or a slight tilt, you can smooth it out with your fingertips before continuing to stack the layers.

Another way to make sure that your cake layers are even is to use a kitchen scale. After scooping out your batter into each pan, weigh it and move the batter around between the pans until all of the layers come out about the same weight. This will give you nice even cake layers that bake evenly.

Once the cake is cooled and ready to be frosted, start by spreading a thin layer of frosting (called a crumb coat) over the entire surface of the cake. This will help keep crumbs from showing up in the final frosting and also will prevent the surface of the cake from becoming moist and sloppy.


A layer cake is a cake made of multiple stacked layers or sheets, held together by frosting or some other type of filling. Most cake recipes can be adapted to become a layer cake. Traditionally, a layer cake is covered in frosting and decorated to suit the occasion.

A butter cake is a classic choice for a layer cake. It is easy to make and can be customized with any number of flavor additions or decoration. A chocolate cake is another popular option. It can be topped with a chocolate ganache, which adds a rich, creamy texture to the cake. Other fillings for layer cakes can include fruit jam, such as raspberry or strawberry, or cream cheese.

For a fun twist, try making a rainbow cake. Using a boxed mix and food coloring, tint the batter yellow, orange, and purple. Pour into separate cake pans and bake as instructed. Then, assemble the layers and frost with your favorite frosting.

If you want to save time, you can prepare the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them. Just be sure to wrap them well in clear wrap and foil, then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before frosting.

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:


Whether you’re making a mile-high, frosting-covered layer cake for a wedding or a simple two-slice loaf for a family dinner, there are certain tools that all bakers need to have on hand. For example, a good spray can help ensure your cakes release easily from pans, and a bench scraper is great for lifting, smoothing, and leveling buttercream on a cake (though it’s also perfect for scooping up chopped vegetables, cutting bar cookies or brownies, and even leveling flour out of a measuring cup).

In addition to basic equipment such as a mixing bowls, a scale, and a cake pan, you’ll also want a variety of supplies to make decorating a breeze. A piping bag and tips are essential for icing details, and an angled spatula makes it easy to get in the corners of a cake. And of course, a sturdy cake carrier seals airtight and makes transporting a freshly frosted cake from point A to B super easy.

Depending on how large your bakery is, you may need to invest in a display case for displaying your finished creations. These cases come in both refrigerated and non-refrigerated styles, and you can find a range of sizes to accommodate both your product and space needs. Some are also equipped with an internal LED lighting system for attracting customers and highlighting your products.


Before the advent of Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker, making a homemade layer cake was often considered a labor of love. Not only did the baker have to make multiple individual cakes, but they also had to create their own icing and frost it between each one. It wasn’t uncommon for a cake to take an entire day to make, and it was usually reserved for special occasions.

This classic vanilla layered cake has an unexpected twist in the form of a pistachio pastry cream filling and a pale green frosting. The result is a gorgeously festive dessert perfect for Easter or another springtime party.

For a truly show-stopping cake, try this towering creation. With 40, yes, 40 layers, it’s sure to impress any crowd and will certainly be the talk of the party.

This tropical cake is the epitome of summer, and it can be made well in advance of your event. The cake layers and the coconut filling can be baked and cooled up to three days ahead, and then stored wrapped tightly in the freezer until ready to assemble. The key to a successful layer cake is keeping the batter evenly distributed between the pans, and this recipe has helpful tips for doing just that. Once all the cake layers are frosted and assembled, it’s a good idea to give the whole thing a crumb coat before the final frosting for extra stability.